[Vision2020] The Eternal Soul

Chasuk chasuk at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 11:24:18 PDT 2005

On 10/15/05, Michael <metzler at moscow.com> wrote:

> ... Chalmers gives up on the reductive theory and
> concludes that human experience is a mysterious, incredible sort of reality
> that just cannot be reduced to physical explanation.  But then he proceeds
> to explain this wondrous mystery in terms of 'qualia,' and then proposes
> that this 'qualia' is simply something like "spin, quarks, charge," that can
> ultimately be explained within a larger system that sure looks a lot like
> physical explanation--all the while explaining that these 'qualia' are not
> physical entities. Well, no thanks : -)  Don't think that does the trick for
> many of us with the same kinds of non-reductive intuitions about our
> conscious life. But then again, I know I'm not alone in seeing Chalmers'
> conclusion a bit incoherent with the beginning thrust of his thesis.

You have summarized precisely why Chalmer's fails me.  I read his "The
Conscious Mind" a few years ago, and was groaning at his
circumlocutions almost immediately.  Thanks for expressing my own
reservations/objections so succinctly.  I am now consciously aware of 
what before was only subconsciously troubling me.  ;-)

> I don't like the idea of arbitrarily picking anything, and so as long as this
> is what the Christian myth would be for you—an arbitrary choice—then I'd
> have to agree with your current assessment of where you are at.

Wouldn't it be convenient if faith (or any type of belief) could be
activated by a switch on the back of the head?  I have a close friend
who has this ability.  He can literally decide to believe something to
see how it "fits," and subsequently believe (amazingly, for a
predetermined duration) absolutely anything.  Whatever he believes,
when he believes it, he believes it absolutely.  I seriously envy him.
 This is one reason that Pascal's "Pensees" has never worked for me. 
Um, to clarify:  not because my friend has this ability, but because I

> Anyhow, I like your honest approach to the issues. I also appreciate your
> sensitivity not to offend. But from here, don't worry about offending me;
> although if others are going to read along, keeping things nice could be
> helpful!

Thank you, and likewise.  I'm enjoying our discussions, I think,
because we have these traits in common.



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